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What's up with B.C. real estate? Sales are down but prices are dramatically up – CTV News Vancouver

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It’s a bit of a paradox in B.C.’s real estate market right now. Sales have fallen year-over-year in July but prices are substantially up. What’s going on?

The answer is quite simple really. There are many buyers chasing very few listings, especially in outlying areas that saw a surge in demand last year as people sought more affordable areas to live and work from home.

“And those markets were already pretty undersupplied and that surge of demand meant that the already low level of supply absolutely plummeted and now we have a real supply drought, especially in small markets,” said Brendon Ogmundson, B.C. Real Estate Association chief economist.

The B.C. Real Estate Association reports that overall provincial sales in July were down 7.2 per cent over the same time last year while the average price on all home types increased 17.1 per cent.

The biggest price increases occurred in places like Chilliwack (26.5 per cent), Kamloops (25.5 per cent), and Kootenay (21.8 per cent) and Fraser Valley (17.5 per cent). The price rose while the total number of sales fell.

The total active residential real estate listings province-wide were down 32.2 per cent year-over-year in July and continue to fall on a monthly seasonally adjusted basis.

The good properties sell quickly, sometimes with multiple offers, while the lower quality listings are harder to sell.

The average residential price in B.C. in July was $891,687 and the economic forecast is for prices to continue to rise. Greater Vancouver had an average residential price in July of $1,153,804, an increase over last year of 10.4 per cent.

Ogmundson expects B.C.’s economy to grow six per cent this year and four per cent next year. A robust economy combined with low mortgage rates and low housing inventory will likely push residential real estate prices even higher.

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Canadian Real Estate Prices To Fall More Than Expected: Desjardins – Better Dwelling – Better Dwelling

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Canadian Real Estate Prices To Fall More Than Expected: Desjardins – Better Dwelling  Better Dwelling



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B.C. ‘clear’ there’s not enough housing as Vancouver encampment ordered dismantled

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s acting attorney general says the province was “clear” with Vancouver officials that the Crown corporation responsible for subsidized housing does not have enough spaces available for people who are being told to dismantle their tents along a street in the city’s Downtown Eastside.

Murray Rankin, who is also minister responsible for housing, says housing is a human right, and the “deeply concerning scenes from Hastings Street demonstrate how much more work we have to do to make that a reality for everyone in our communities.”

Rankin in a statement Friday says BC Housing has accelerated efforts to secure new housing for encampment residents including pursuing new sites to lease or buy and expediting renovations on single-room occupancy units as they become vacant.

He says BC Housing is aiming to make a “limited number” of renovated units available next week, with more opening later in the fall.

Vancouver fire Chief Karen Fry ordered tents set up along Hastings Street sidewalks dismantled last month, saying there was an extreme fire and safety risk.

Police blocked traffic Tuesday as city staff began what’s expected to be a weeks-long process of dismantling the encampment but little had changed by the end of the week with most residents staying put, saying they have nowhere to go.

The city has said staff plan to approach encampment residents with “respect and sensitivity” to encourage the voluntary removal of their tents and belongings.

Community advocacy groups, including the Vancouver Area of Drug Users and Pivot Legal Society, have said clearing the encampment violates a memorandum of understanding between the city, the B.C. government and Vancouver’s park board, because people are being told to move without being offered suitable housing.

The stated aim of the agreement struck last March is to connect unsheltered people to housing and preserve their dignity when dismantling encampments.

The City of Vancouver may enforce bylaws that prohibit structures on sidewalks “when suitable spaces are available for people to move indoors,” it reads.

The province is not involved in the fire chief’s order or the enforcement of local bylaws, which prohibit structures on sidewalks, but it is “bringing all of BC Housing’s resources to bear to do what we can to secure housing for people, Rankin said.

“I recognize the profound uncertainty and upheaval people impacted by the fire order are facing, and we will provide updates on this work as we have news to share,” he said.

Rankin, who had been serving as minister of Indigenous relations, was appointed acting attorney general after David Eby stepped down to run for leadership of the B.C. NDP.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2022.

 

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Mismanaged real estate deals land B.C. lawyer two-month suspension – Business in Vancouver

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Mismanaged trust accounts have landed a ban on residential real estate conveyancing for a B.C. lawyer.

A Law Society of BC tribunal panel has suspended Surrey lawyer Serf Grewal after determining he unintentionally misappropriated tens of thousands of dollars of trust funds.

Grewal was found to have committed several breaches of law society rules, largely related to real estate. As such he’s also been barred from future residential real estate conveyancing.

“The proven misconduct,” stated the society, “includes unintentional misappropriation of slightly over $42,000 of client trust funds, due to trust shortages and accounting errors, mishandling of a further $3,770 of client trust funds which resulted in a trust shortage that he did not report to the law society, improper withdrawal of $5,500 held in trust for fees before delivering bills to the client, failure to comply with accounting obligations over a four year period, and improperly commissioning an affidavit by not personally witnessing the attestation.”

Grewal’s suspension was said to be curtailed from what may have been a longer one, granted there was “evidence establishing that none of Grewal’s misconduct arose from dishonesty or deliberate misconduct for personal gain.”

As well, “the panel also considered evidence of a clear connection between Grewal’s misconduct and mental health issues related to childhood and personal trauma, and that the consequences flowed from his decision to report that trauma,” noted the society in a statement Aug. 10.

Grewal was also ordered to undertake trust account supervision and educational courses.

He claimed his annual income was in the range of $45,000 to $50,000 and so the tribunal panel afforded him 16 months to pay $9,000 in costs.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca

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